Melissa Zook is a family physician at a rural health clinic in southeastern Kentucky. Her daily medical practice in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky is as complex, varied and mercurial as the topography of the land itself. Writing helps her process what she sees and hears daily as a physician practicing in what The New York Times calls ‘the hardest place in America to live.’ Dr. Zook writes about how she and her patients change each other and about the things that never change. She writes about the poverty, abuse, neglect, violence, addiction, prejudice, ignorance, love, kindness, loneliness and loss. Dr. Zook graduated from Gettysburg College and the Penn State College of Medicine. She is triple board certified in family medicine, HIV medicine and addiction medicine. Dr. Zook has treated over a thousand patients with substance use disorders and is the single largest provider of care to persons living with HIV in Southeast Kentucky. She is married and has two sons.